The award winning Lough Erne Canoe Trail has continued its ongoing development with the production of a new waterproof guide which makes it even easier to explore Fermanagh’s lakes by canoe.
The Lough Erne Canoe Trail was launched by Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland (formerly CAAN) in May 2005 and has gone from strength to strength ever since. In 2008 it was the first Northern Irish project to be recognised by the British Urban Regeneration Waterways Renaissance Awards and early in 2012 a cottage was refurbished on Trannish Island to provide Bothy accommodation for canoeists.
“There has been so much development on Lough Erne since we originally launched the trail back in 2005. The Trannish Island Bothy and the ongoing infrastructure improvements by Waterways Ireland and Fermanagh District Council have significantly increased Lough Erne’s potential as a canoeing destination. The new guide reflects all these changes ensuring canoeists can make the most out of their experience in Fermanagh.” explained Sarah Noble, Senior Product Development Officer, Outdoor Recreation NI.
The 50km trail from Crom to Muckross is by far the most popular of the 9 canoe trails promoted by Outdoor Recreation NI because it is suitable for such a wide range of abilities. The shelter of Upper Lough Erne provides a superb venue for those embarking on their first canoe trip whereas Lower Lough Erne can become rough in strong winds and in such conditions is best left to experts.
The trail is certainly a great addition to Fermanagh’s tourism offering. Of those who have experienced the trail 85% stated it enhanced their experience of the area and 91% stated they wished to return to the area again in the future.
Éanna Rowe Head of Marketing & Communications, Waterways Ireland stated “Waterways Ireland welcomes the development of the redesigned Canoe Trail Guide for Lough Erne. Our Partnership with Outdoor Recreation NI in developing the trail has been fruitful and we look forward to more canoeists enjoying the trail using this new guide”
The new waterproof guide, which can be ordered free of charge on CanoeNI.com, indicates all the slipways and jetties at which canoeists can access Lough Erne whilst also providing key information such as campsites, toilets, fresh water, points of interests etc. The guide is also available in an interactive format on CanoeNI.com which also provides additional information such as canoe hire, guided trips, suggested itineraries and accommodation.
Councillor Thomas O’Reilly, Chairman of Fermanagh District Council, stated ”
As a council, we were delighted to be able to continue to invest in this worthwhile tourism project which will greatly benefit both the local community and visitors to Fermanagh”
This project has been developed by Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland, Waterways Ireland and Fermanagh District Council. Other project partners include The Canoe Association of Northern Ireland and Share Discovery Village.